Social art project «Parasol» is intended to actualize the palliative care issues through art – organizers


In Ukraine, a socio-art project “Parasol” has begun. The project is devoted to the problems of palliative patients and palliative care, or medical, psychological and social support to terminally ill patients. “Over the next few months we will engage in advocating the term “palliative care” for the media and society. […] We will speak through art. Hopefully we can prove that art can be social and can be an effective tool that helps to better understand the problem and bring it to those who do not know about it,”- said Anastasia Evdokymova, project manager, during a presentation at the Ukrainian crisis media center.

As a part of the Mystetskyi Arsenal project, an art-book on palliative care issues will be published in collaboration with the “Vydavnytstvo Staroho Leva”; a series of lectures, exhibitions and public discussions will be held. A number of writers, journalists, artists, who are the mediators of the topic in society, contributed to the creation of the art-book. Among the authors of text are Serhiy Zhadan, Marysia Nikitiuk, Zoia Kazanzhy, Maria Eshchenko, and Yuriy Yarema. “Unfortunately, Ukrainian literature rarely refers to such painful topics. The world literature has more examples of such works, among which, the most famous is a work of Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt ‘Oscar and the Lady in Pink.’ […] We hope that the texts and works that will be included in an art-book, and our work, will continue to raise this interest,”- said Ivan Ryabchiy, coordinator of the literary component of the project. “Since the topic is new to Ukraine, a lot of people asked ‘What is palliative care?’ We want to show that Ukrainian artists are socially active and can work not only on the topics of political vicissitudes, but also deal with very complex topics like palliative care,” – said Andriy Ermolenko, coordinator of the visual part of the project.

Also, charity fundraisers, in support of palliative care services, will be held in seven cities, namely Uzhhorod, Lutsk, Vinnytsia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kropyvnytskyi, Kharkiv and Dnipro.

Kseniya Shapoval-Deynega, Manager of program initiative “Public Health” of the International Fund ” Renaissance “, expressed the hope that the topic will get actualized in society. She recalled that in Ukraine about 500,000 people need palliative care. “Today the help is provided to about 15% of the patients. […] The total needs, calculated according to the methodology of the World Health Organization, the 500 kg of morphine we supposed to order and produce, we annually consume only about 80 kg. This allows you to assess how big of a problem is,”- she said.

“The disease can befall anyone. It’s like falling while running, when you’re running and suddenly stumbled; and everybody runs on, and you are left alone with huge problems. We have some taboo for the word “death”, but people are dying, even children. And they need help, that bridge, when society turns its face to all of its citizens,” – said Lyudmyla Andriyishyn, head of outbound advisory department of the regional Center for Palliative Care, Chief Specialist of the Department of Health of Ivano-Frankivsk oblast in palliative care.

The project is implemented by NGO “Foundation Europe XXI” supported by the program initiative “Public Health” of the International Fund “Renaissance”.